Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

No tariffs for Irish goods entering NI in no-deal Brexit

No tariffs for Irish goods entering NI in no-deal Brexit

The government said the measures would be "strictly temporary" and that its priority would be to enter into discussions urgently with the European Commission and the Irish government to jointly agree long-term measures to avoid a hard border.

The stakes could be huge - it would mean the difference between RoI farmers being granted free assess merely to the Northern Ireland market, or to the entire United Kingdom market.

But the plan would only be temporary and would exclude a selection of sensitive imports, including some agricultural products such as beef, lamb, pork and some dairy, as well as auto imports and some other products.

Rates include beef (53 per cent of MFN), poultry meat (60 per cent), sheep meat (100 per cent), pig meat (13 per cent), butter (32 per cent), Cheddar-like cheese (13 per cent), protected fish and seafood products (100 per cent) and milled and semi-milled products (83 per cent).

Under the plan, exporting directly from the RoI to Great Britain means firms will face tariffs on their agricultural goods.

Tariffs would be payable on goods imported from the European Union via Northern Ireland into the rest of the UK.

On the Irish border, the British government said it would not introduce any new checks or controls on goods moving from the Irish Republic to the British province of Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit, stressing the plan was temporary and unilateral. These tariffs would apply for "up to 12 months".

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Instead, normal compliance and intelligence methods will be used to detect any traders attempting to abuse the system.

MPs rejected the EU Withdrawal Agreement by an overwhelming majority - 391 voted against the deal compared to 242 in favour.

They do not set out the position in respect of tariffs or processes to be applied to goods moving from Northern Ireland to Ireland.

The government recognises that Northern Ireland's businesses and farmers will have concerns about the impact that the government's approach will have on their competitiveness. Small businesses trading across the border and not now Value-Added Tax registered would be able to report Value-Added Tax online periodically, without any new processes at the border.

"Most important thing for us in Ireland is that their decision to leave shouldn't cause problems in Northern Ireland where people voted to stay", he said.

But the Ulster Farmers' Union said it could see no upside to the plans: "The risk is farming becomes a secondary industry in Northern Ireland rather than primary, which has a significant knock-on effect for the rest of NI's economy, especially in rural areas".

The Government has been clear that a deal with the European Union is the best outcome for Northern Ireland.

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